Strong relationships with customers are key to making your janitorial company a success. And while good service is essential, a relationship built on trust and communication will ensure a long partnership. But how can you keep your relationships strong? Knowing that surface-level conversations and responding to complaints aren’t enough, how can you make your customer meetings effective? How can you turn customer interactions into retention and profit increasing sessions? Let me offer 5 tips for a slam-dunk partnership meeting.
Make Them Regular And Scheduled
Partnership meetings with customers should be held monthly or quarterly. Sporadic meetings are a bad look, but pre-planned, scheduled meetings model consistency and professionalism. They indicate to the customer you are proactive and take their account seriously. But don’t rely on the customer to take initiative. It is your job to plan the meetings, ensure attendance, and drive the agenda.
Have An Agenda
Don’t EVER walk into your meetings and ask, “How is everything going?” Rather, have an agenda that works through specific talking points and addresses relevant issues. Personal conversation, quality, upcoming needs, issues, past successes, etc. should be addressed each time.
Include A Quality Score
During each partnership meeting, you want to ask the customer to give you a performance score using a 1-5 or 1-10 scale. Additionally, you want to ask them specifically what you can do in the upcoming month(s) to improve your score. This not only gives you a regular gauge of your standing with the customer, but it specifically helps you see how to improve. Finally, this quality score helps keep the customer grounded in the event of a future service failure. Reminding the customer of past scores can help them see your consistent service success.
Operations is actually in the business of selling to existing customers. You must constantly sell (or remind) your customers of the value they are receiving from your cleaning company. How have you reduced complaints? What extra services have you performed? Given that our industry is often complaint driven, you must remind the customer regularly what you do for them.
Last but not least, you need to constantly be looking for ways to upsell your customers. Delivering more services to your customers makes you and your company more valuable and indispensible. A company that just cleans is easy to replace. A company that cleans, supplies consumable products, power-washes the sidewalks, cleans the windows, and handles the recycle program is much harder to replace. Add value by upselling.
Keep these 5 tips in mind as you look to strengthen your customer relationships in the coming year.